New Delhi, Feb 19: With a day left for the crucial floor test in Bihar, any twists and turns are still coming in Bihar's politics. With the BJP likely to support Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi in trust vote on February 20, it will become clear whether he will be replaced by his former boss, Nitish Kumar.
The Bihar BJP on Wednesday hinted at voting in favour of Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi during the February 20 trust vote with all its MLAs unanimously supporting such a move aimed at send "a strong reply to Nitish Kumar for humiliating a Mahadalit".
He said the MLAs felt "this would be a revenge of the insult of a Mahadalit by Kumar", who is hoping a comeback. The BJP's unanimous view emerged during a meeting of BJP Legislature Party at the residence of Modi here, where all party MLAs felt that the way former Chief Minister Kumar has "humiliated a Mahadalit" he should be taught a lesson.
The BJP legislators will again meet tomorrow to discuss their strategy and a final decision on the matter is likely by tomorrow evening ahead of Friday's floor test. Modi said the party central leadership would be informed about the views of legislators and "a decision will be taken about BJP's role in trust vote."
The possibility of BJP MLAs voting in his favour came as a moral booster for embattled Chief Minister Manjhi. BJP has 87 MLAs in Bihar Legislative Assembly. With BJP in his side, Manjhi now needs to muster support of 30 more MLAs to reach the magic figure of 117 in Bihar House whose effective strength lies at 233 at present.
Meanwhile, BJP tore into Kumar saying in his quest for power Kumar has lost trust of dalits by insulting Manjhi. BJP's leader of opposition in Bihar Assembly Nand Kishore Yadav said, "In his quest for Chief Minister's post, Kumar has lost the trust of dalits by insulting Jitan Ram Manjhi.
The dalit community is feeling cheated by Nitish. They are completely disillusioned with him." He said, barring a few hangers-on, no one from the community wants to hear Kumar's name.
"This is one major reason behind his frustration. Nitish Kumar is caught in a dilemma - neither can he see the future nor can he see the path of return," Yadav said, in a statement. JD(U) has 110 members in the House including that of Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary.
Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi has been expelled from the party and declared unattached members in the House. RJD has 24 MLAs, Congress 5, CPI 1, Independent 5 and 10 seats are vacant in the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly.
Meanwhile, BJP MP Murli Manohar Joshi on Wednesday claimed that Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi would be able to sail through the political crisis in Bihar.
"Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi would be able to sail through the political crisis. And, BJP would would emerge on top in the coming Assembly elections in Bihar and UP," Joshi claimed.
(With inputs from agencies)